Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I Am Ashamed Of Our Union For The Undemocratic Method It Allows For Nominating Presidential Candidates
It was with great disgusted that I read how the UFT Executive Board decided to only allow for the nomination of their hand-picked puppet, Michael Mulgrew as President of the UFT. I had thought that the UFT was an inclusive union that allowed for honest debate and nominations for President. Why should my $47.27 per paycheck fund undemocratic policies that I don't agree with? I can understand that the "Unity caucus", which dominates the executive board and the union leadership didn't want any competition. However, I am especially disappointed at the "New Action caucus" who claims they are independent but bows to the whims of the "Unity caucus" when it comes to voting on issues. I really am disappointed in JD2718 who usually questions some of the union's policies but failed to allow for competition for UFT President on the Executive Board that he is a member of.
It would only be right if the other UFT caucuses were included on the Presidential nomination process and in fact, two of them. The Independent Council of Educators (ICE) and Teachers for a Just Contract (TJC) did combine forces and tried to nominate James Eterno. However, the Executive Board refused to consider the nomination. You would think that our union which is supposed to represent the "Brightest" people in the City workforce would encourage inclusiveness and transparency in union business. Instead, they practice "Stalinist" tactics with a demand of 100% obedience and non-democratic practices by appointing people based on their loyalty to "Unity" and not on their ability to help their members. Under the "Unity caucus" only school representatives (chapter leader, delegate, and SBLT representatives) and TRC liaisons are elected by its members. All others are appointed by the President and his/her minions. Is it any wonder that the common complaint from the schools is that the Union has lost touch with their members?
I am an independent thinker and not a member of any of the UFT caucuses. However, I despise the "Unity caucuses" Stalinist cult of loyalty and secrecy that has hurt this union and is mistrusted by many of its members. The next President must promise transparancy and democratic elections for all Borough positions as well as a separation between the High Schools, the Middle Schools, and the Elementary Schools to get my vote. It is time that our union go back to its democratic roots rather than be a mirror image of Tweed.